Monday 27 August 2012

Family - Always A Problem

Not a great deal going on with the Fury just now, two main reasons, one we had a family holiday in Lanzerote, & two I've been working away from home.

On the last day of the holiday we rented some Segways - great fun & fascinating things - absolutely no practical application in the real world of course, but very clever.

The journey home wasn't the best, first daughter No.1 disappeared to get a drink for 15 MINUTES just as the coach was due, fortunately the coach was late, but the same daughter returned with two cups of lemonade, & stood one on an upright suitcase (I'm guessing you can tell what's coming next) in spite on warnings, she then knocked it all over the suitcase & my cabin baggage (that's my bag, not my wife). We arrived at the airport just about last & had to queue for an hour to check in. Lanzerote has "environmentally friendly air conditioning" a sign said - I think that just means it was turned off. Once inside the departure lounge, things got worse. Tempers were frayed at this stage, so when I offered daughters & friend 30 euro for some food & was ignored, then when I offered it again somewhat more pointedly & was told to "shut up & go away" I'm afraid I lost the plot. The red mist descended & I found myself thinking "I'm going to hit her. I'm going to hit her in a MacDonald's queue in a foreign departure lounge & be arrested". Fortunately my iron will prevailed, I walked away & stayed walked away right until we got home at 02:00 the following day. Then I got up & went to Chester for the rest of the week.

Perhaps not surprisingly there was "a bit of an atmosphere" when I returned.

Meanwhile, back at the car, I've spent odd moments cutting up the old bonnet & taking the "hump" to Neil Dean (who needs it as a temporary fix for his zetec swap), painting the new fuel tank & getting it ready for fitting. But, I hear you cry, why have you painted racing stripes on it? Well, because of the close fitting rear body, it's not possible to lift the tank into position & then fit the straps, so I've made the straps fit right round the tank, so it lifts as an assembly into position, so the red stripes show the position the straps need to go in to align with the holes in the chassis.

In this seemingly identical photo the straps are fitted, confusingly they're also painted red - the paint was open & I didn't want to wash the brush again. Having got the tank ready to go up I extended the wires to the sender & tested the travel. There had always been "an issue" when the tank was full, the gauge showed 3/4, when it was 1/2 full the gauge showed empty. Well by rocking the tank to & fro, I think it will show almost full when it's completely full & empty when it's almost empty. At least this time I'll be able to take the tank out & adjust it.

Sunday 19 August 2012

Not Home

So where in the world am I?

Lanzerote this week. A very pleasant place to be too, Staying at the Sandos Papagayo Arena, a fully inclusive type hotel which it has to be said, is rather good, Right on the southern tip of the island & close enough to the town to be walkable, but not so close that you get disturbed by it. At this stage I should point out that this update will include no car related news at all.

While the hotel can’t be faulted (except perhaps that they have only one music tape, shared between two bars one in the day, the other at night) The climate is causing me some problems, not so Mrs Blatter & certainly not the Blattettes who have been exposing large amounts of pink flesh to the golden orb so seldom see in the UK. Anyway I’ve finished my all-inclusive beer, think I’ll have a rum & coke next. This purgatory will end tomorrow when we fly back to the UK & within 9 hours I’ll be on the road to Chester to do some troubleshooting for Airbus. So blatting is unlikely in the near future - got to finish the fuel system first.

Sunday 12 August 2012

Front To Back

Having spent a LOT of time on the front of the car, today I worked on the back - they say variety is the spice of life.

The plastic fuel tank's been weeping for a while, so it was time to put it out of it's misery, the problem being it's fixed in place by the the rear bodywork, so the only solution was to cut away the rear valance. In fact only a small amount needs to be cut, But I decided to take a "let the dog see the rabbit" approach, as you can see from the before & after photos. The old tank came out as did a whole load of piping, I have a vent valve for the new tank, so the two yards of vent pipe won't be needed. Some wiring got re-arranged & I took the fuel level sender out of the old tank & cut a hole to suit it in the new tank. I also re-bent the old tank straps.
So after a bit of jiggery-pokery, the new tank is temporarily in the car. It's been in & out so often it's now quite adept at the Hokey-Cokey, the main problem being some bolts I'd not taken account of in my design, the tank needed a little "dressing" with a bossing mallet to create three scollops (sounds so much better than "big dents") to clear them.
I still need to move the pump to the back, remove the swirl pot & another load now unecessary piping, before finally fitting the tank & making some means of re-attaching the 8" x 3ft chunk I've removed & making it strong enough.

Saturday 11 August 2012

The Joy of Blatting

Now THAT's what I'm talking about.

In-spite of a sleepless night & a headache, I stumbled out of the house at 06:00 heading for the garage. My steed was clean, polished & duct tape free, looking lithe  on the drive. The shape of the Fury continues to take my breath even after almost ten years of ownership.

The sun was almost up, a little early morning mist, painted pink by the sunrise & banded by roadside trees & shrubs. No other traffic to impede my progress. There was a blat on - & it was DRY.

After a while my fellow Must Blatteers arrived, GB in his Orange Westie, Steve (or was it Roger?) in his orange Westie & Roger (or was it Steve?) in what can only be described as a "non-kit-car", not too bad though at least an Elise is made by a kit car manufacturer (at this point I'm ducking behind my keyboard). So, two orange "sevens" & two yellow wheels-in-the-body-curved-screen-opening-doors sports cars. There had be rumour on the forum of another car. "CustardPants" had requested the start time & route, but GB had been unable to get the full details to him before 05:00, so at 07:00 we decided he was a non-starter & left.

The route was basically an old one with a tweak or two, the start & end points only being about four miles apart, but we'd be doing somewhere in the region of 80 miles to get from one to the other. Not only were we lucky with the weather, but also with the traffic. With the sun getting warmer by the minute we circumnavigated west Sussex, eventually getting separated from Roger & Steve (or was it Steve & Roger?) by the inevitable milk truck, you see that sticky out bit on the route at about six o'clock? that's both sides of a road that is, out & back & yes we did pass them going the other way. Also passing on the other side of the road was CustardPants, who had arrived at the launch point a little late, & taken off on a route of his own devising.

 There he is in this still from the BlattCam. Shortly after this we were even more surprised to see Steve & Roger (or was it Roger & Steve?)also going in the other direction - can't explain that one at all.

What-ever, in glorious sunshine GB & myself arrived at "The Chalet", an honest-to-goodness transport cafe & wondered aloud about S & R's (or maybe R & S's) route, but shortly after, they arrived & parked up in a pleasingly symmetrical arrangement - though we could've been closer together it must be said. All we needed was for CustardPants to show up & park in the middle - but alas that wasn't to be.
So three of us ordered the Chalet Special, one (Roger - or perhaps it was Steve) broke with SKCC tradition & ordered an omelet & chips - a "healthy option" in SKCC terms. & we chatted & breakfasted outside while the sun shone.

But all too soon we heard the call of home, or at least felt sufficiently guilty about the length of the jobs list our loved ones would've prepared for us & we set off. GB, Steve & Roger were all heading more or less north, while I was making for the west, so I headed off up the A22 alone. After a while a green dot appeared in the mirror & over the course of half a mile or so, resolved itself into the shape of a Porsche 911 - couldn't tell you what type, they all look alike to me, but it was a modern one. Anyway, having passed the cruising Fury, he rounded a roundabout & "gave it large" to use the vernacular, & suffice to say the Fury was not found wanting - at all - in the least.

One acceleration was enough, I was not going to let it develop. I'd proved my point. German engineering? The South Downs is littered with it.

Friday 10 August 2012

And ............. Relax

The Fury's back in use - Hoorah!

It's not finished, but it is safe & sorted. There was an "issue" with the throttle sticking at about 2000rpm. Looking all round the twin cables didn't reveal anything obvious, but after a lot of looking I found the cable stop plate on the throttle bodies was touching the alternator, the plate is attaches to was slightly loose on the housing allowing it to sit either in the right place, or very slightly open. Easy fix, but not easy to find. It's only attached by two screws, one M5(ish) csk & one M3, so I'll need to keep an eye on it & mount it better if need be.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Back On The Road

Noble reader, the Fury should be back in use this very eve - note well that I didn't say "finished" & I advisedly used the word "should". Yester-eve I cut back the second wheel arch, trimmed the GRP so the bonnet opens fully, then bonded on the cut-off angle & the bonnet prop bracket.

In theory it just needs the new No. plate & I can use it again. As ever, reality is somewhat more involved & I actually need to:-
properly glass the bonded-on angles in place to replace the lost stiffness,
put the headlamp covers on,
take the heat shielding & intake duct off the old bonnet & bond them onto the new one,
paint the new bonnet with underseal (to protect it from stones).

There's a fish & chip run to Hastings tomorrow eve, bit of a long way but I might pop along.

One irritation that's still ongoing is the insurance payment. Initially it all went well with the engineer turning up & giving the go-ahead to repair the car, but since then there's been no sign of an actual cheque. I've contacted the insurance Co. several times, but on the occasions they've replied, the case seems to have slipped back a notch or two. In desperation I e-mailed the broker (the rather Dickensian sounding Frank Pickles) & within an hour the insurance co. was on the phone to me offering to pay the recovery immediately & the pasts cost ASAP. There was a little back-sliding on that as they later called back requesting receipts for all the parts - I have most of them but not all - so we'll see if a cheque drops onto my doormat. Over all the full cost is less than £2000, which must be quite small in claim terms.

Monday 6 August 2012

Getting There

So, repairs rumble on at a snail's pace. over the weekend I trimmed the off side front wheel arch to clear the front wheel at all angles of steering, then bonded the lump I cut off back onto the bonnet further forward to stiffen it back up. You can just see it clamped in position while the adhesive cures. I wasn't having much of a weekend, family troubles & generally feeling down, so that was all I did.

But today, a couple of packages arrived at work for me which contained a couple of M8 rod ends, a fuel tank vent valve, & a new front No. plate.

The rod ends were to make a new alternator adjuster, the engine side bracket for the old one having fatigued. I decided to go to M8 from M6, a spur on the moment decision designed to make the joints wider & so reduce the offset. What I failed to take into account was that it also made them longer, so as you can see from the photo, there is no gap between the joints. But fortunately they are just the right length. we'll see if it lasts better this time. It's the gold thing in the middle of the photo.

One last thing I've done it to tape the new No. plate into position. This time round I've bought a "square" one, which I'm intending to offset to the near side to try to reduce the "mustachioed" look, here's what it looks like.

Friday 3 August 2012

Bored Bored Bored

While colleagues watch the Olympics & award points for "artistic impression" to the female athletes, I'm sitting here wondering if my attepts to fit the new bonnet will ever be complete (sigh). The lights light, the latches latch, but major surgery is required to make the front wheels steer. I may get around to that this afternoon, But I'm getting pretty fed up with all things bonnet related, having spent two days off & two evenings working on it this week.

To be honest I'm seriously considering cashing in the tax disc, as I'll be working away from home from mid August & I still have the fuel tank to install.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

More Bonnet

(Sigh) still trying to get the bonnet to fit nicely. This evening I:-
Wired up the indicators.
Cut a little more away around the hinge frame - I think the bonnet now opens far enough.
Adjusted the latches - the bonnet now locks shut.
Trimmed a little more off the rear flange - the bonnet top edge now lines up with the main tub.

Then I found the main problem. With the bonnet shut there was a clonking in the steering, with it open there wasn't. Using the BlatCam as an endoscope revealed that the bonnet was pushing the airbox down onto the steering universal joint. I couldn't raise the bonnet without the car looking ridiculous, I couldn't lower the engine without the sump getting even closer to the ground. After some pondering I took the throttle bodies off the manifold & cut 7 - 8mm off the length of each runner, the TBs would now sit closer to the engine & away from the slope on the bonnet. By keeping the support strut the same length, the TBs would be forced further down, giving more clearance. The steering U/J was still an issue though, so I cut the offending corner off the airbox, taped over the resulting hole & filled the corner with araldite, once it's cured I'll take the tape off & re-fit. I may even put some aluminium tape over the araldite to konseal consele conceel hide wot I done.

This was of course a whole bunch of faff, but it should have cured one of the car's long standing niggles.

Also on the positive side - may I proudly present - the new fuel tank.

That's upsidedown that is but it shows the swirl pot & the brackets for fixing it to the diff cage. It also shows that it's a very very shiny thing - which is good.

Tanks a Bunch

Ouch - my headlines don't improve.

As you may have guessed my shiny new tank has arrived - no photos as I'm at work without a camera, but the quality seems good& it measures OK to the dimensions I sent.

Now all I need is time to fit the thing, which won't be until after the bonnet's finished. There's other things to be done first too. i need to fill it with water to set up the fuel gauge - at least set it up better than it's currently set up where "empty" means there's three gallons or less left - in a six gallon tank. It's fine if i'm on a run because I check the mileage when it hits empty & fill it up before I've gone 100 miles, but when it's only used occasionally I forget & therefore effectively have a three gallon tank.

Getting it in the car will also mean a reduction in complexity & weight, as the low pressure pump & swirl pot will become redundant as will a couple of yards of piping. Hoorah. There's a few Kg of fuel filled copper, rubber & about a dozen jubilee clips to come off the inventory.